On Thursday afternoon, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Walmart issued a joint press release announcing that Walmart had signed on to the Fair Food Program. The Fair Food Program’s goal is to improve the wages and working conditions of immigrant farm workers who pick tomatoes sold to retailers and restaurants.
The Fair Food Program originated as a project of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, an alt-labor organization operating in Western Florida that advocates for migrant farmworkers’ rights. By entering into the Fair Food Program, Walmart is agreeing to purchase tomatoes from growers in compliance with the Program’s requirements.
These requirements include an increase in wages of a penny per pound of tomatoes picked, compliance with a code of conduct, education sessions advising workers of their rights and responsibilities, the generation of a complaint resolution mechanism for workers to contact, the creation of health and safety commissions on individual farms, and ongoing audits of the farms to ensure compliance with the Program.
Walmart is far from the first buyer to participate in the Program. Other restaurants and retailers include Whole Foods, Chipotle, Subway, Burger King, McDonalds, Trader Joe’s, and Yum Brands, the owner of TacoBell, KFC, and Pizza Hut.